By Lauren Falber

Ah, motherhood. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with Jaxsyn. It was such an amazing feeling! Even though he was the size of a seed, I couldn’t help but think about all the amazing things that he would bring to the table. His first smile, his first word, his first tooth and his first steps. The books explained it and I couldn’t be happier, but what they failed to mention was his first tantrums. The terrible two’s to be exact.

No one can prepare you for the terrible two’s. And I was blind sighted. How could my sweet, little boy, so full of love and happiness have it in him to destroy me and my motherly hopes and dreams in a matter of seconds?

At first, I would brag because his tantrums were silent. He would just lie on the ground, lifeless until he realized, rather quickly, that he was not going to get his way. And now, as we get closer to his 2nd birthday, he has decided that a silent protest was no longer getting his point across to me.

I thought I had my house child-proofed the second he became mobile. I followed the books and the websites and put everything away that I thought he could hurt himself with, but what they don’t tell you is that you have to completely re-do your child-proofing once your child hits the terrible two’s. You’re probably wondering what exactly I am talking about, but as Jaxsyn had his first real tantrum I realized that nothing was safe anymore.

When the one syllable word escapes my mouth you can see the reaction in Jaxsyn’s eyes. “How could she tell me, NO?” I can read it all over his face and then, while maintaining eye contact he casually runs over to anything that I consider important and proceeds to throw it on the ground. This can be anything from my internet modem to my remote controls or his new favorite, my very expensive phone. And he does it with such a calm demeanor. When he realizes that that really didn’t do much except for getting him into even more trouble, he charges through the house like the running of the bulls and proceeds to beat his head on the ground or the door or anything else that he sees fitting. Screaming one of those high-pitched death screams, I’m sure neighbors wonder exactly what I am doing to him even though I am on the other side of the room trying to stand my ground, no matter how shaky it has become. After roughly, 3 minutes, again, he quickly realizes that this is going nowhere and that’s when he runs into his room and pouts. A few minutes later, he emerges and runs over to me and says he is sorry and that he loves me. Well, dang. He won, yet again. I can’t stay upset with him after his cute little mouth tries to form the words “I’m sorry”. And the thing is, he knows. He knows exactly how to play me. It’s like he’s been taking lessons for years.

So I’m pretty sure there is no absolute way to avoid the terrible two’s, but I would like to think that there is a way to shorten its trial period. (If you’re going through this phase, know you are not alone. Click here for another perspective from Katie.)

Remember, no means no. Stand your ground and eventually they have to learn, right? Hide all valuables because if they don’t learn right away, then at least you’ll still have internet, TV and phone. Remember that you make mistakes as a mommy and they are entitled to a few mishaps every now and then, too. And finally, “sahwee” and “love you” make everything better.

What about you? Have you gone through this phase? Do you have any tips to share?